10 Brain Boosting Snack Ideas Perfect For Exam Season


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Exams are on throughout the country and all our kids are burning the midnight oil. What they need is a continued source of nourishment and for you to be around. I know I always wanted my mom around when I was studying because that meant every time I got peckish (which was very often) while I was studying she would have something on hand for me to snack/nibble or drink.

The correct nourishment for the brain is so important when your kids are working so hard. Eating right keeps your building blocks of neurotransmitters — brain chemicals – healthy. They help boost your brainpower and concentration

I’ve put together 10 brain-boosting snacks that will keep you focussed, calm and help you sail through your exams. 

1. Almond Drink/Badam ka Harira

Almonds are known to improve not just memory skills but also overall brain function. This healthy drink is made with all the ingredients that will help them ace the exams.


  • 3 Tbsp Raw Rice, (I used Basmati)
  • 15 Almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. Dry Coconut Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Ghee
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 1’ Inch Piece Cinnamon
  • 1 Cardamom
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 200ml Milk


  • Boil the milk to boil and let it cool down to room temperature.
  • Thoroughly wash and soak raw rice for ½ an hour.
  • Soak almonds for 2-3 hours. Peel the skin and set aside.
  • Drain the water from rice. Put the rice, almonds and coconut in the mixer jar and grind to a smooth paste by adding little water.
  • Now place a clean kitchen or muslin cloth over a big bowl and empty contents of the jar. Bring the ends of the cloth together and squeeze the liquid. Repeat the process for 2-3 times by adding little water to the contents of the cloth. Set the liquid aside.
  • In a pan, heat the ghee and add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Fry for a second and reduce the flame. Now slowly add the collected liquid. Stir continuously to avoid lumps until the liquid thickens and turn into a smooth paste.
  • Stirring continuously, add in milk and then the sugar. Bring this to boil and turn off the flame.
  • Our badam ka harirais ready. Serve warm or chilled by garnishing with chopped almonds.

Note: You can either use fine sieve instead of cloth to extract the liquid from the above ground ingredients.

2. Date-Walnut Truffles

Walnuts are excellent for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid . The other ingredients are dates which are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Together they make a yum healthy easy-to-eat snack while they cram away. 


  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Dates, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ Cup Almonds
  • ¼ Cup Cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Icing Sugar for dusting


  • In a mixer jar, coarsely pulse the walnuts and almonds. Then add the chopped dates.
  • Pulse for 10 seconds and remove into a greased bowl. (Grease a bowl with 2-3 drops of butter) Then add the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mix gently.
  • Smear your hands with a drop of butter and then start rolling the mix into golf size balls.
  • Roll the balls in the icing sugar and coat them evenly
  • Place each ball in a muffin liner and place in the fridge for 4-5 minutes.
  • Your healthy snack is ready.

3. Besan-Oats Ladoo

Who doesn’t like ladoos? And if they’re healthy all the better – you won’t need to tell them to take just one.


  • 1 Cup Besan/Chickpea Flour/Senaga Pindi
  • ½ Cup Oats
  • ¾ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ Tbsp. Cardamom Powder
  • ¼ Cup Ghee
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Pistachio, coarsely powdered


  • In a heavy bottom cooking vessel, dry roast the oats for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Remove and let it cool on a plate. Once cool grind to a fine powder of it.
  • Use the same pan, dry roast the besan on medium flame until the raw smell disappears. It will take 10-12 minutes for the colour of besan to start changing. You will get a nice roasted aroma of besan.
  • Turn off the flame and add powdered sugar and cardamom powder. Mix gently using a wooden spoon and set aside.
  • Now add the melted hot ghee spoon by spoon.
  • Gently fold roasted oats powder also.
  • When the mixture is slightly cool to handle, grease your hands with ghee and shape them into ladoos.
  • Sprinkle coarsely powdered pistachio or any nut of your choice and serve.

4. 3 Ingredient No Bake Bites

This recipe combines the goodness of dates and dry fruits to help your child stay focussed and increase their memory and boost concentration. Pair these energy bites with the delicious hot chocolate recipe shared below and you have your study time snacks sorted!


  • Dates
  • Pistachios
  • Peanut Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Honey 


  • Add some water in a pan.
  • Add 5 chopped dates and allow them to soften.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of peanut butter
  • Add some pistachios
  • Add some honey if you like it sweeter
  • Add a dash of vanilla (Optional)
  • Allow it to cool down and roll into balls

5. Herbal Hot Chocolate

This hot chocolate has the yumminess of dark chocolate and the addition of a special herb mix boosts your child memory, focus and concentration — a must especially during exams. The nut powder mix ensures this hot chocolate is as nutritious as it is yummy.


  • Milk
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Herb Mix
  • Nut Mix
  • Vanilla
  • Honey


To make the Herb Mix: 

To make the Nut Mix:

To make the hot chocolate: 

  • Take 250 ml of milk in a saucepan.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of herb powder.
  • Once the milk starts to simmer add 1/2 tsp of nut powder mix.
  • Add two pieces of dark chocolate. 
  • Let it boil for a few minutes.  
  • Sweeten the milk with honey.
  • Add a dash of vanilla and serve.

6. No-Bake Energy Balls

These snack bites contain flaxseed which is super rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and is extremely important for the brain. Oatmeal contains glucose which is your brain’s fuel. 


  • 1 Cup Oatmeal
  • ½ Cup Peanut Butter (or other nut butter)
  • ⅓ Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • ½ Cup ground Flaxseed
  • ½ Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence


  • Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Let it chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  • Once chilled, roll into balls and let the kids boost their energy levels.

7. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc and boost memory. A perfect snack to help your child retain what they’re reading.

  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds, rinsed and dry
  • ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Cayenne Powder
  • 1 Tsp Olive Oil


  • Preheat oven to 180° C.
  • In a bowl combine all the ingredients until the seeds are well coated.
  • Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and slightly browned for about 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  • Watch carefully to avoid burning as all ovens vary on cook times.
  • Remove from oven, and let cool before serving.

8. Spiced Chickpeas

Chickpeas a great source of protein and make a great replacement for chips and salty nuts. This snack has healthy ingredients, is easy to carry around and also really easy to make at home.

  • 1 1/2 Cups Chickpeas soaked
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 Tsp Cayenne Pepper, omit or reduce if you don’t like heat


  • Preheat oven to 180° C.
  • Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or foil. 
  • Drain and rinse chickpeas in a colander. Let the chickpeas air dry or pat dry with a towel. 
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine oil, salt, pepper and spices. Add chickpeas and toss to coat the chickpeas well.
  • Spread the chickpeas onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 40-50 minutes until crispy, shaking pan once or twice in the middle of cooking.
  • Serve warm or let cool and enjoy! Store in an air-tight container once completely cooled.

9. Broccoli Cheese Muffins

We all love muffins. Add some cheese to it and anything with vegetables tastes so good. The

Vitamin K and choline in broccoli helps to strengthen cognitive abilities and improve memory. So munch away!

Image Source: https://kidgredients.com.au


  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 4 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 Cups Broccoli, cooked
  • 1 Cup Grated Cheddar
  • 1 ½  Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg, beaten


  • ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ Tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ Tsp Paprika


  • Preheat oven to 180° C.
  • Steam the broccoli for 7-8 minutes in a pan or in the microwave.
  • Once the broccoli is cooked, mash it up with the back of a fork.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together – flour, baking powder, broccoli and cheese in a large bowl.
  • Now add the egg, oil, seasonings and milk. Don’t overmix. It will slightly thick.
  • Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray.
  • Put the muffins into mini muffin trays and bake for 20 minutes. Check after 20 minutes since each oven functions slightly differently.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • You can put them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days

10. Chocolate Fig Cake

Figs or anjeer are extremely healthy for our brain development. Rich in potassium, B Vitamins and Manganese, these are the ideal food to add to your exam meal plan.

Image Source: https://www.generalmillscf.com


  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Cocoa
  • 5-7 Dried Figs (or more/less depending on preference)
  • ½ Cup Oil
  • ½ Cup Boiling Water
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt 


  • Soak finely chopped figs in boiling water for 20-30 minutes.
  • Grease a 9-inch round baking pan.
  • Put the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and combine in a large bowl.
  • Add the egg, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes.
  • Add figs and water and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 180°C for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes and enjoy the cake with a dollop of ice cream.

Note: You can substitute 1 egg with 1/4 Cup Yoghurt


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